The aim of this study was to explore and describe the use of music therapy during intervention with primary school girls who have been sexually abused. An empirical study of limited extent was undertaken, which was qualitative in nature and conducted from the interpretivist paradigm. In depth case study was used as research design, whilst educational psychological assessments, intervention and re-assessments, observation, interviews, analysis of documentation, field notes and a reflective diary were employed as data gathering methods. Two primary school girls in a place of safety were selected as participants in the study. Despite the fact that these girls had to cope with the trauma of sexual abuse, they had to deal with emotions and behaviour closely related to such trauma, including depression, aggression, fear, hate, inappropriate interpersonal relationships, sleeping disorders, low self-concept and behavioural difficulties. The findings of the empirical study are supported by literature, namely that music therapy can provide a safe setting to children for revealing their emotions, fears and needs related to trauma, such as sexual abuse. Music therapy had a positive effect on both cases, who illustrated positive change during the process of intervention and were able to replace negative experiences with positive emotions. Further findings of this nature include an improvement of both girls’ ability to express themselves on an emotional level, self-confidence, assertiveness, self-concepts, social skills and interpersonal relationships, as well as a decline in negative behavioural patterns and symptoms. Subsequently, both girls could perform on a higher level on all various domains of functioning.
Dissertation (MEd (Educational Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2005.